VMware falls out with Tanium

Divorce Just Ahead SignVMware has ended its OEM relationship with the security start-up Tanium in what is turning out as an annus horribilis for the security outfit.

Both VMware and Tanium confirmed the end of the OEM relationship with their various spinners saying that the decision was mutual.

The ending appears due to conflicts related to the Tanium OEM deal payment structure and to challenges in supporting Tanium’s tricky tech. Tanium has removed VMware from its list of technology partners on its website.

VMware said the two will continue to work together in some capacity to service joint customers.

The couple have been together since June 2016 and VMware created a new offering called VMware TrustPoint. It was supposed to allow an IT administrator to monitor, discover and manage threats and vulnerabilities, and to manage end point updates and OS migrations.

It was targeted at securing endpoints and easing Windows 10 desktop migration projects.

During the honeymoon period VMware Executive Vice President and General Manager of End User Computing Sanjay Poonen praised Tanium’s “highly innovative” approach to end point management and security.

Tanium’s proprietary peer-to-peer technology lets organisations continually scan all endpoints in their global networks, finding and fixing security vulnerabilities and identifying and controlling unmanaged devices.

In fact at one point the companies were close to merging. Acquisition talks took place in late 2015. Sources said at the time that Tanium’s high valuation, combined with Dell’s $67 billion bid in October to acquire VMware parent EMC, prevented the acquisition talks from progressing further.

Tanium has had a pretty terrible year. The outfit has been hit by multiple reports of a troubled company culture. The company was slammed for exposing a client’s private network information without permission in demos. Tanium CEO Orion Hindawi has apologized for both issues in a blog post.

The outfit has seen multiple top-level executive flee in recent months including the sudden exit of CFO and COO Eric Brown in March. Tanium has replaced Brown with former Dreamworks executive Fazal Merchant. Tanium has also seen the departures of its CMO and head of sales last year, and multiple VP-level channel executives.

Tanium had been considering an initial public offering.

Robots are after your job

robotsSmart machines and robots may replace skilled professionals in medicine, law and IT by 2020, warned beancounters at Gartner who are presumably seeing R2D2 cleaning out their desks as we speak.

Analyst group Gartner has predicted that by 2022, smart machines and robots could replace highly trained professionals in tasks within medicine, the law and IT. CIOs need to prepare now to ensure that their organisations are ready for the impact that AI will have over the next five or ten years.

Stephen Prentice, vice president and Gartner fellow, suggested that the economics of AI and machine learning will lead to many tasks performed by highly paid professionals today becoming ‘low-cost utilities’.

This means that all this will force an organisation to adjust its business strategy. Many competitive, high-margin industries will become more like utilities as AI turns complex work into a metred service “that the enterprise pays for, like electricity,” he said.

Prentice cited the example of lawyers, who must spend a lot of time and money on education and training.

Any organisation that hires lawyers must therefore pay salary and benefits sufficient not only to compensate each successive lawyer it hired for this training, but a sum that is commensurate with their knowledge, expertise and experience.

A smart machine that could act as a substitute for a lawyer would also require a long, expensive period of training – or ‘machine learning’ but once the first smart machine is ready, the enterprise could add as many other similar machines as it wants for little extra cost.

Employment numbers would be hit in some industries, with some routine functions at risk of replacement, such as systems administration, help desk, project management and application-support roles.

Others would see the technology as a benefit as AI takes over routine and repetitive tasks, leaving more time for the existing workforce to improve in other areas of the business. The mix of AI and human skillsets will complement each other in these roles.

Prentice said that CIOs need to develop a plan that can run alongside the company’s current digital transformation strategy. He warned that too much AI-driven automation could leave the enterprise less flexible.

“The CIO should commission the enterprise architecture team to identify which IT roles will become utilities and create a timeline for when these changes become possible. Work with HR to ensure that the organisation has a plan to mitigate any disruptions that AI will cause, such as offering training and upskilling to help operational staff to move into more-creative positions,” he said.

Dell predicts digital transformation explosion

funny-cat-running-21-desktop-wallpaperMichael Dell is so pleased with his shiny new EMC acquisition and his going private that he is predicting a digital transformation explosion in businesses.

Talking to Dell EMC World 2017 Dell said that: “This isn’t our show, this is your show. It’s about how you’re changing the world and using transformation to change your businesses. Making digital transformation happen, making it real, that’s why we created Dell Technologies, combining innovations from Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, Secureworks,Virtustream and VMware. This allows us to innovate like a startup with the scale of a global powerhouse.”

Michael Dell enthused about the importance of both Digital and IT transformation, not only in the technology industry but in the whole workforce.

Dell said: “We are at the beginning of an innovation explosion. CEO’s want their companies to become technology companies. You’re competing with startups who are more sophisticated at injecting new products into their platform. You need an IoT strategy, a cloud strategy and a workforce strategy. As well as security, that’s the highest priority of all.”

Beta Distribution pulls out of talks to buy rival Entatech

hqdefault (3)Beta Distribution has withdrawn from talks to buy rival Entatech after some last minute due diligence.

Beta  MD Steve Soper said information obtained during due diligence process killed off the transaction.

Beta confirmed that it had been in “detailed talks” with Entatech and its advisors about acquiring certain assets of the company.

However while the talks went on for a while, it appears some  information obtained during detailed due diligence meant Beta was unable to continue.

Industry rumours were claiming that Beta was closing in on inking a pre-pack deal to buy Entatech, which has been widely marketing itself in recent weeks because it needed a larger trade backer to deal with its credit problems.

It managed to get a reprieve last March when new management there agreed a deal with HMRC over its legacy VAT issues. But then  the outfit lost its key Fujitsu contract last summer and it was forced to put itself up for sale.

The search intensified at the end of April when RBS started to take control of the company.

Soper said that Beta would still deviate from its glorious five-year plan if the right opportunity came along.

Entatech fitted the bill, with experienced people, important supplier relationships and a well-established customer base but in the end, it wasn’t a starter.

 

Nutanix and HPE are not chums

9-coverHPE has made clear in no uncertain terms that it is not partners with Nutanix, after the latter opened up its Enterprise Cloud Platform software to allow users to install it on HPE ProLiant and Cisco UCS B-series servers.

Nutanix made the announcement late last week, signalling a move away from its traditional all-in-one approach.

HPE is cross at the move and issued a retaliatory blog post slamming the idea of using Nutanix software in favour of a purpose-built HPE platform.

In the post, titled “Don’t be misled… HPE and Nutanix are not partners”, the clearly irritated former maker of printer ink told customers “considering running hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) on an HPE server, you should consider the HPE HCI offerings”.

HPE’s VP of marketing, Paul Miller, said: “Landing Nutanix software on HPE hardware without any type of OEM or support agreement is going to cause real issues in the real world – in the absence of a real support agreement.”

Nutanix previously made its software available as part of a hardware all-in-one package, Nutanix said it will make it compatible with rivals’ servers so customers can choose its own offering over those from competitors like HPE and Cisco.

HPE’s Miller warned that in the case of an outage, HPE could provide immediate assistance so long as you’re running its own software, but for those customers taking on third-party offerings, it is unable to provide the same levels of service.

HPE said it is not surprised by the idea that a company would want to run its software on HPE ProLiant, it appears Nutanix has jumped the gun a little by forgetting to inform the hardware provider of its cunning plan first.

HPE’s recently bought hyperconvergence specialist SimpliVity for $650 million, a direct competitor to Nutanix so it makes sense that HPE would not be keen to have customers from turning to a competitor.

Nutanix has said its Enterprise Cloud Platform software will be available for HPE’s portfolio by the end of the year.

Exertis allows resellers to double credit

credit-cardsOne of the channel’s bankers, Exertis, is making sure that resellers looking for growth get the credit lines they need.

Exertis has plans to offer a selected number of SME resellers the chance to double their credit.

The distributor could give an additional £20 million with the option to go even further in some cases where resellers have reached their credit limits.

Exertis B2B sales and commercial director at. Mark Reynolds said the aim of the move is to provide our resellers with a credit limit that can help them win and grow their business, safe in the knowledge that they have the financial resource to support it.

“With our broad technology range, resellers want to take advantage of the efficiencies of buying from one source. By working with our credit insurers, we are in a position to double the facility for over 1,600 resellers and even extend that further if they remain within our usual credit terms,” Reynolds said.

Exertis has been working with public trading insurer Chubb Ace and is planning to be proactive in suggesting certain resellers should take advantage of the offer.

Appian names its favourite partners

som2Software development outfit Appian named its 2017 Global and Regional Partners of the Year.

For those who came in late Appian low-code software development platform that enables organizations to rapidly develop powerful and unique applications. Applications created on Appian’s platform help companies drive digital transformation and competitive differentiation.

Its partner system is the key its business model so each year it names its favourites. Appian chief technology officer Mike Beckley said: “At Appian, we take great pride in our global partnerships that help drive digital transformation and enable businesses to quickly adapt to the latest challenges they are facing.

“The companies recognized this week have greatly contributed to the Appian community. Not only as partners, but those who demonstrated innovative use of business applications – paving the way for great success across the Appian network.”

Global and Regional Partner of the Year Winners were:
• Global Partner of the Year – KPMG
• Regional Partner of the Year – APAC Infosys
• Regional Partner of the Year (Mid-Market) – Bits in Glass
• Global Trusted Program: Partner of the Year – Vuram

KPMG Advisory principal Jerry Iacouzzi said the award was quite an honour.

“Our clients understand digital transformation is not optional. When executed with the right experience and the right tools, such as the Appian Platform, digital transformation is the key to competitive advantage. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with Appian to deliver even greater value to our clients.”

Ultima picks Reading for goals

wilde2Cloud and managed services outfit Ultima is ploughing shedloads of cash into its Reading HQ.

The outfit has opened a new £18 million HQ in Reading and revealed plans to increase its staffing numbers and extend its apprenticeship scheme.

IT also wants to create 50 jobs and double the number of apprentices it takes on each year from the current level of 20 to 40.

Reading has always been one of the key areas for the tech industry, being part of the M4 corridor and the ‘golden triangle’, and the firm expects it to become even more important with the arrival of Crossrail.

Ultima founder Max McNeill said that it had invested heavily in the technology park that now homed its HQ with the aim of bringing tech firms and jobs to the area.

“With Crossrail coming to Reading I believe it’s a great opportunity for us to become a centre of technology excellence. Manor Park and over the past two years we have invested £18m in restoring the building from a shell into a 21st Century, state-of-the-art headquarters for Ultima in the heart of south Reading,” he said.

“We have rented out some of the 40,000sq ft to other technology companies, including Fortinet and Veeam who previously weren’t based in the town. It goes without saying that our investment in the business park has created further employment opportunities in south Reading, and will continue to do so,” he added.

The investment in bricks and mortar is more than just an opportunity to choose some new colour schemes and represents a deeper philosophy at Ultima.

“We are entering a period of rapid growth and our watchword for both our customers and staff is ‘modernisation’. Our new service offerings, and indeed our new office, are designed to deliver a range of refreshed IT solutions that address the latest business needs of IT users,” said Ultima CEO Scott Dodds.

Channel is now cloud-ready

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudIngram Micro’s UK Cloud Summit was told that the channel has understood the opportunities that cloud can deliver.

The Summit was told that while the Channel was slow most now accept that the cloud is an unstoppable force changing business and their approach to the market.

Ingram Micro’s UK Cloud Summit heard from the distributor and vendors about the trends in the market.

Ingram Micro director of cloud & software UK&I Apay Obang-Oyway said that it was  one of the first times that he had seen that the Channel has got the message and people were nodding their heads.

He cited Blockbuster, which failed to spot the streaming revolution until it was too late, as an example of the risks of not adapting to change.

“A lot of CEOs are petrified of being Blockbusted. A lot of partners can see the changes.”

He said the industry was at the start of the fourth industrial revolution and technologies including IoT, big data, social and cloud were driving those changes.

“While it is all very good and exciting it is bringing a lot of disruption, which you can look at negatively or positively. Within that there is a load of opportunity for channel partners but you have to understand this is a different reality and it is no longer business as usual, its business unusual. The opportunity is huge and represents significant numbers,” he added.

 

Redcentric sales in sunset despite accounting scandal

hqdefaultRedcentric has announced its trading results for its recently ended financial year were in line with its expectations, despite having a terrible year for accounting scandals.

IT group Redcentric has seen its shares plunge 66 percent after it discovered accounting irregularities and gave notice to its finance director.

The company said the “misstated accounting balances” related to previous year’s figures and would mean a write-down in some historic profits.

The discrepancy meant it would need to reduce its net assets by at least £10 million and its debt would now be around £30 million compared to the £17 million or so it suggested in September.

But now the IT managed services provider said it had experienced good sales momentum during the year ended in March, with a number of key contract wins and renewals in both the public and private sectors.

Net debt at the end of March was £39.5 million, down from £42 million at the end of November.

Redcentric said it had made good progress with the remedial programme it had outlined in December, with its finance team further strengthened and number of improvements made to its internal systems and controls.

Redcentric will report full year results on June 29.

Chief Executive Officer Fraser Fisher in a statement that he was pleased to report that trading is in line with expectations.

“Throughout the challenges at the end of last year, we have continued to enjoy the support of our stakeholders including customers, banks and loyal colleagues. A great deal of work has been carried out in the past few months to execute the remedial plan, strengthening our reporting and control systems,” he claimed.

Microsoft partners celebrate Dynamics 365 launch

Dynamics 365Microsoft has officially launched its Dynamics 365 in the UK, much to the relief of its partners.

For those who came in late, Dynamics 365 is a cloud based service which joins Microsoft Azure and Office 365 that Vole will be managing to help UK businesses reach their potential.

Microsoft’s bog post announcing the release of Dynamics is a heavy sell. It lists off the businesses in the UK that have already taken advantage of Microsoft’s UK cloud regions that went up last year, including the Ministry of Défense and the Met Police.

“The move ensures Microsoft is the first global cloud provider to offer a complete cloud from data centres in the UK.”

The headline case study has come from the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust which uses Dynamics 365 to easily share information between medical professionals and patients.

“The ability to see a complete picture of an individual’s needs means more people can be treated in their own homes rather than in a hospital,” Vole tells us.

Lucy Cassidy, an Advance Practice Physiotherapist at Brighton Hospital said that Dynamics 365 transformed the way her hospital treated patients by putting all relevant information into the hands of clinicians.

“From the moment the service receives a referral, the patient is provided with relevant information on how to manage their injury and we are able to measure the progress of their rehabilitation,” he said.

“The service also means that we are able to track patient feedback and data is automatically collected for our Patient Reported Outcome Measures, a key reporting need for all NHS trusts. Importantly, this data is sent live to clinicians to proactively manage patient outcomes rather than simply sitting in a spreadsheet at the end of the year.”

Vole is pitching its 365 products as a package for partners claiming the three enable companies and organisations to work seamlessly to become more productive, gain new insights into their operations and create greater personalised experiences for customers. Because having seams makes things rather tricky to iron.

Aegex signs deal with ScanSource POS and Barcode Europe

Aegex-10-1-Instrinsically-Safe-Tablet-666437-lAegex Technologies has announced European distributor agreement with ScanSource and Barcode Europe.

ScanSource representatives will supply Aegex products, including the Aegex10 Intrinsically Safe Tablet and the Aegex IoT Platform for Hazardous Locations, to existing Aegex resellers in the region.

In addition, ScanSource provides pre- and post-sale support, education and training, marketing support and enablement tools so that resellers can focus on sales and customer service.

Meanwhile ScanSource will host a series of networking events from May through December 2017, called ScanSource Live, at which resellers can learn more about the solutions ScanSource offers, including Aegex products. Potential events are scheduled as follows (subject to change):

  • North: 11 & 12 May 2017 – Frankfurt area, Germany
  • South: 1 & 2 June 2017 – Barcelona area, Spain
  • UK: 18 & 19 September 2017 – Midlands, UK
  • Benelux: 13 September 2017 – Antwerp, Belgium
  • Eastern Europe: 12 & 13 October 2017, Warsaw, Poland
  • Nordics: 26 & 27 October 2017 – Malmo, Sweden or Copenhagen, Denmark

ScanSource will also offer Aegex products through a variety of online channels, including the ScanSource website, ScanSource e-catalogue, ScanSource Showpad app and PartnerPAD managed tablet solution.

Red Hat shows off cloud-based automated enterprise

hat_sm_zps0a1ae16fRed Hat has been telling the world+dog about its new cloud management platform, CloudForms, and predictive analytics tool, Red Hat Insights.

Talking to the 2017 Red Hat Summit in Boston, Joe Fitzgerald, VP of Management said the new products are all part of the company’s automated enterprise vision thing.

“CloudForms is used to manage multi-cloud environments, and the key feature in that release is Ansible Inside, which is incredible open source automation technology,” Fitzgerald said.

Red Hat Insights is the company’s predictive analytics capability, which tells users what is going on within their systems, and efficiently automates getting issues fixed without having to involve actual workers.

“It’s a really powerful tool for enterprises to automate,” said Fitzgerald.

He explained that business was getting more complex, with IT environments using multi-clouds as well as new container technologies, making it hard for individuals to keep up with the management of these systems.

“Automation is premium. You see this in consumer things like self-driving cars and home automation. It has to come to enterprise IT. Otherwise, businesses are not going to be able to keep up with the demands on them,” he said.

Dell EMC cuts cloud deal with Microsoft

lightning-cloudDell EMC talked about its partnership with Microsoft under which channel partners can build on-premises Microsoft Azure clouds using Dell EMC technology.

Dubbed Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack, the she-bang is a turnkey platform for building a hybrid cloud offering with the same look, feel, and technology as the Microsoft Azure public cloud,

A Dell EMC spokesperson said the outfit was using its three years of experience with delivering hybrid clouds.

The Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack is a net-new offering from Dell EMC, particularly in how it differs from the company’s Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, or EHC.

Customers deploying the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud need to add their own domain name space automation, firewall automation, backup and recovery capabilities, and other technologies that together form a private or hybrid cloud.

The Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack is an integrated offering which is Azure-based. It does not use the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud.

The new offering is also different from the Azure Pack, which Dell started shipping in 2015. The Azure Pack is not API-compatible with the Microsoft Azure public cloud.

The Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack targets solution providers and customers who use Microsoft technology. It will be a stand-alone offering combining Dell EMC hyper-converged infrastructure technology with Azure.

The new offering scales from four nodes, which can work with up to about 100 Azure D1 virtual machines, to 12 nodes, or about 600 Azure D1 virtual machines.

Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack provides a single contract support for hybrid Azure deployments, full encryption and security capabilities including the ability to tie policies to virtual machines as they are migrated to new locations, and full data protection capabilities in single tenant and multi-tenant environments.

Insight restructuring costs hit EMEA operations

imagesInsight saw its EMEA operations slip into the red because of restructuring costs.

Restructuring costs of $3.2 million made Insight’s EMEA numbers look pretty rubbish. Costs shot up as the company tried to improve the efficiency of its EMEA operations. Apparently things are going to be pants there for some time.

Overall the numbers for the first quarter across EMEA showed that Insight delivered a 9per cent  climb in sales to $330 million but a loss with income dipping by $1.1m compared to a positive position of $2.7 million in the same period last year.

Insight CEO Ken Lamneck said that EMEA was a blight on the balance sheet but otherwise the firm had enjoyed a fairly decent performance in the region.

“The sales growth obviously is pretty 20per cent  constant currency growth, so really solid there. A few big deals are brought down the gross margin related to some large software enterprise agreements and some hardware deals, lower than margin there for — but certainly good growth on a top-line and obviously growth year-over-year on the earnings line as well,” he said.

“But we looked and we said, hey, there is a couple of markets where there is some inefficiency. So we’ve taken that very specific action,” he added.

The CFO Glynis Bryan said that when it took a charge in Europe it did not always see a recovery in the first year and it expected the benefit of the cost cutting to filter in about $2m a year with most of that starting to come through to the balance sheet in 2018.

Sales for the outfit were up 26 percent  to $1.48 billion for the three months ended 31 March. Gross profit was $208 million for the first quarter, up 29 percent  year-over-year.